Also in the News


MACs to Hold Claims for MPFS Services for Ten Business Days Beginning April 1, 2014 – According to Medicare Learning Network Connects eNews, pending the outcome of the SGR Doc Fix legislation (discussed in more detail in today’s Health Headline called “House Passes SGR ‘Doc Fix’ Legislation”), CMS has instructed Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold claims containing services paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for the first 10 business days of April.  This hold would only affect MPFS claims with dates of service of April 1, 2014, and later.  Claims for services delivered on or before March 31, 2014, will be processed and paid under normal procedures, regardless of any Congressional actions.

HIPAA Compliance Security Risk Assessment Tool Available for Providers – In a March 28, 2014, news release, HHS  announced that a new security risk assessment (SRA) tool is available to help health care providers in small to medium-sized offices conduct HIPAA compliance risk assessments.  The SRA tool’s website  includes, among other things, an application available for downloading, videos to help providers to start using the tool, and videos on risk analysis and contingency planning.

Georgia Announces Proposal to Permit Free-Standing Emergency Departments to Replace Certain Rural Hospitals – In the face of several recent rural hospital closures in Georgia, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Community Health, announced  proposals to improve rural access to health care.  Those proposals include permitting some at-risk rural hospitals to operate as freestanding emergency departments, designating a State contact to serve as a point person for rural hospitals, and establishing a Rural Hospitals Stabilization Committee.

AHIMA Releases Position Statement on Use of Copy/Paste in EHRs – The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently issued a seven page position statement, titled Appropriate Use of the Copy and Paste Functionality in Electronic Health Records, in which it is concluded that “[t]he use of copy/paste functionality in EHRs should be permitted only in the presence of strong technical and administrative controls.”  The AHIMA stated that “the efficiency and time savings benefits” of the copy/paste functionality should be weighed “against the potential for creating inaccurate, fraudulent, or unwieldy documentation.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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